There are many cruise ships in the world today, but only a handful of truly iconic vessels.
Cunard Line‘s elegant flagship, Queen Mary 2, is one of them. The first true ocean liner built since Cunard rolled out the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969, Queen Mary 2 was designed – first and foremost – to cross the Atlantic. A modern-day take on the classic liner of days gone by, Micky Arison, president of Carnival Corp. put it succinctly when he said, “We bought Cunard to create Queen Mary 2. Not the other way around.”
Sometimes, when cruise lines refit ships, the results can be something of a mixed bag. But Cunard has carefully plotted this refurbishment from the get-go, consulting with Queen Mary 2’s lead designer, naval architect Stephen Payne. The results are exciting: Gone is a Winter Garden that never really managed to hit with passengers, replaced instead with a new venue that pays homage to Cunard’s deeply rooted history. The under-used Casino will now be partially turned into solo staterooms. And Todd English will be rebranded, with a new culinary focus, new menus, and new decor.
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2
The gracious old-world QM2 is considered the only real ocean liner built since Cunard’sQE2 debuted in 1969, with antiques, memorabilia and artwork reflecting this legacy. QM2’slong and lovely black and red hull and her razor-sharp prow able to slice through open-ocean waves are a sight to behold in this age of boxy white behemoths.
In late 2011, QM2 underwent a major refurbishment that refreshed her staterooms and public areas, offering new color schemes and redesigned spaces like the popular Golden Lion Pub. When she emerges in June 2016, she’ll sport new staterooms, redesigned public venues and other brand-new amenities that are designed to keep this truly beautiful ocean liner relevant well into the next decade.
Fans of longer voyages will be delighted to know that Queen Mary 2 sets sail on a World Cruise each and every January, and those who want to see her seakeeping abilities firsthand would do well to book one of Cunard’s famous “Winter Transatlantic Crossings” that take place in November, December and January.
Maritime Author John Maxtone-Graham once coined the phrase, “the only way to cross” – and that’s very applicable for Queen Mary 2, the ship that will want to make you shred your plane tickets and sail the deep blue seas between continents forever.
Dining and Staterooms aboard QM2
For those who want the ultimate in English tradition, you’ll want to head down to the Golden Lion Pub for Pub Lunch. Get there early: Seats at this popular (and complimentary) venue go fast once passengers discover how good the Fish & Chips are.
Ready to set sail aboard this beautiful ship?